In her sculptural jewelry, North Carolina metalsmith Anna Johnson balances raw and refined, edgy and elegant.
The artist: Born in Charlotte, NC, Johnson grew up interested in nature and jewelry making. She graduated with a degree in studio art with a focus on metalsmithing from Appalachian State University. She lives and works in Asheville.
The company/studio: In 2012, Anna Johnson began her professional studio work in Spruce Pine, NC. Today she works out of her home studio in Asheville.
The goods: Jewelry that pays homage to nature and often features cast plants, foraged bone, as well as semiprecious and precious stones and metals. Pieces range from casual to one of a kind. She also does custom work, such as wedding and engagement rings, plus memorial jewelry.
What’s popular: Distinctive statement earrings ($300 to $3,000).
Other favorites: Any work that includes bone, especially skull pieces, which are more elaborate ($1,000 to $5,000).
Why bone is special: “Bone, often unacknowledged and even considered taboo, takes a prominent role in my pieces,” said Johnson. “Through this work, I subtly urge those to take a second look, to question what is typically valued, what is not.”
Influences: Mother Nature. Art Nouveau era jewelry. And natural history.
Fun or unusual request: Make custom pieces of jewelry, using extracted cat teeth for numerous clients.
Big break: Landing in a community (Western North Carolina) saturated with so many talented, passionate and hardworking artists.
Claim to fame: A gift of making rodent skulls welcome at any dinner party.
- Featured in American Craft Council magazine, Metalsmith magazine and “CAST: Art and Objects.”
- Named one of “30 Exceptional Craftspeople under the Age of 30,” during American Craft Week in 2016.
- Has taught at Penland (NC) School of Craft and Tennessee’s Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.
Where to buy: annajohnsonjewelry.com
Get social at: Anna Johnson Jewelry on instagram